Thursday, 29 April 2021 23:25

Five vehicles parked at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon were tampered with Featured

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POLICE have warned drivers to be on their guard after catalytic converter thieves tampered with vehicles at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

Officers yesterday appealed for witnesses following a spate of catalytic converters stolen from five vehicles parked at the hospital last week.

Police said: "We received five reports between 8am and 9.30pm last Friday of cars that had been tampered with.

"It is reported that a white coloured car/van was seen in the car park at around 3.20pm acting suspiciously."

PC Sean Magee said: “We are investigating these incidents and dealing with those owners affected.

“Understandably, this has caused a considerable amount of stress to the victims, some of whom were working at the hospital at the time of the incident, not to mention the financial implications and their ability to get to work whilst their vehicles are off the road for repair.

“It is a heartless act targeting those whilst at work helping the public in the middle of a pandemic and we will do all we can to bring those responsible to justice.

“Anyone who may have seen the vehicle mentioned, seen any suspicious behaviour or have dash cam footage from the hospital car park on the day of these incidents is asked to call us on 101.

“We’d like to remind the public to be mindful when it comes to the safety of their vehicle and have provided some useful advice below.”

Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this isn’t an option, then park it in a well-lit and well-populated area

If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars or close to a fence, wall or a kerb to make the theft more difficult

Avoid parking your vehicle half on the pavement and half on the road, as this may make it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter

If there is a fleet of vehicles, park the low clearance vehicles to block the high clearance vehicles. This will obstruct access underneath.

If your catalytic converter is bolted on, you can ask for your local garage to weld the bolts to make it more difficult to remove.

Alternatively, you can also etch a serial number on the converter.

You can even purchase a ‘cage clamp’ which is a cage device that locks in around the converter to make it more difficult to remove.

If you see someone acting suspiciously under a vehicle, report it to the police. Obtain as much information as possible, including descriptions and any vehicle registrations.

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